Modern & Colorful Hand Painted Kid Room

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When I asked my 4 year-old daughter what she wanted her room to look like, she said “lots of colors!” For a kid who often wears every color in the rainbow and enjoys mixing a lot of patterns, this wasn’t very surprising. The problem is, I (somewhat selfishly) wanted to like her room too, since I can see it from the living room. I wanted a room we could both be happy with.

I love modern design, and I wanted a room that was colorful, but not tacky or overwhelming. Stripes are obviously a big trend in rooms right now, but I didn’t want a whole room of stripes, and it felt like lots of colorful stripes could quickly overload the senses. I decided to pick six colors and do diagonal stripes – and not across the entire wall. To tone it down even further, I chose black and white accents (the black and white dot rug is from Ikea, $20).


I can honestly say that the stripes project was a pain in my tuchas and I was really glad that I decided to only do six stripes. It required a lot of painter’s tape and measuring so that the stripes were lined up perfectly.


This was a cheap project, though, thanks to paint samples from Home Depot. Each 8oz sample was $3, and I still have paint left after painting two walls and the borders of all her picture frames.

In case you’re curious, the colors are Glidden from Home Depot. Yellow is Sunflower (GLY01), Blue is Peacock Blue (GLB01), Green is Lucky Shamrock (GLG05), Pink is Watermelon Smoothie (GLR09), Red is Red Geranium (GLR06), and Orange is Orange Marmalade (GLO04).


As you can see, only half the wall is painted; the other half I left white. I gave the picture frames (Ribba from Ikea, which she’s had in her room since babyhood) some pizazz by painting the edges. I mixed in some other colorful stuff too – a vintage blackboard and a Felix the Cat ceramic piece I did in high school.




Another priority for me is storage. These are from Ikea’s Trofast collection.


At four, C can’t read yet – but she also can’t remember which drawer is for which toys. I labeled each one and drew a picture of what’s inside. This method works only part of the time, haha.


The other wall is very different – I painted circles freehand on the opposite wall. The white clock is from Target ($7), and the mid-century dresser and bookshelf are vintage. When I saw the little coat rack at Ikea ($25), I couldn’t believe how perfectly it matched the room and I had to have it. She hangs her coats and doctor jackets there.


Her dresser has a few knickknacks, mostly from my childhood, and a fan I spray-painted pink (she was thrilled!).


C loves books (and so do I!). I love this old bookshelf I found at the antiques fair for $20.


I’ve been carting these cute star garlands in bronze, silver, and gold around for years (they’re from Paper Source), and hung them from the ceiling. Good thing there’s no theme here and I can do what I want. ;)


On the left, below, you can see the blackout shade situation. This is a very wide window, and after battling for over a year with a ridiculous blackout shade from Home Depot that kept falling down, I finally decided to get two smaller shades from Ikea. These are much higher quality – the inside is made of metal, rather than cardboard like the Home Depot shade. Yes, there is a space between the two shades which lets light in, but it doesn’t bother C. I got the idea to use two shades from my friend Reichel, who did the same in her kids’ room – they aren’t bothered by the light either.

The night stand was $15 from the antiques fair. It works perfectly and can take a beating. She loves her “special drawer.”

2014-08-27_029Overall, I wanted C to feel at home in her room, and be delighted every time she enters it. From her perspective, there’s color everywhere. From my perspective, it’s fun, cute, and not tacky at all. Success, I’d say!


Sara Olsher is a single mama based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is fascinated by emotional intelligence, confidence, and resilience in young kids.